Shrewsbury doctor denies touching female colleagues
A senior house doctor has denied inappropriately touching female colleagues and nursing staff while they were working on wards at a Shropshire hospital.
Mahendar Kumar Katarapu, 37, is alleged to have touched the chest and thigh of one junior doctor and the chest and bottom of two nurses.
A jury at Shrewsbury Crown Court was told that Katarapu denied touching any of the women.
Mr Stephen Thomas, prosecuting, asked the defendant if the accusations were a case of mistaken identity for all the witnesses.
Katarapu replied: “I don’t know, it might be.”
Mr Thomas said that a staff nurse had called Katarapu into an office and told him that a complaint had been made against him, and that he apologised.
He said: “At the beginning of December 2016 you spoke to a staff nurse who told you a complaint had been made against you, and you said ‘I am sorry’.”
Katarapu said: “I asked who made the complaint and what the complaint was.
“There was no reference of inappropriate touching. I did not say ‘I am sorry’ to her.”
Mr Thomas added: “If you’d had a warning, or a hint, you’d have been keen to find out what it was so you didn’t repeat it, wouldn’t you?
“It is accepted that you didn’t admit it, but you did say ‘I am sorry’.”
One one occasion it is alleged that Katarapu pulled up a chair close to where the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was working and put his hand on her thigh, before a few weeks later pulling up a chair and leaning on her left side. The witness claimed that as she went to move he had put his groin in front of her.
In February last year she made a complaint to her NHS bosses and later went to the police after another incident in an office.
Katarapu, of Edgecombe Way, Shrewsbury, denies seven allegations of sexual assault involving four women between August 2016 and March last year. The trial continues.
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